So how do we plan camp activities that are fun and engaging but still achieve curriculum outcomes? In this article we use the Australian Curriculum as the foundation for ideas on how school camp can enhance your curriculum.
ENGLISH: The language of camp
Use the surroundings for the students to gather ideas and inspiration for English activities that can either be fully completed at camp or integrated with classroom activities before and after camp. Consider:
- Journal writing.
- Use the camp as a setting for a narrative.
- Go on a scavenger hunt where the students follow cryptic language
- Prepare a procedural text based on one activity.
- Work in groups to write and perform a short play.
- Make a movie with “language of nature” as the theme.
- Collect titles of novels that relate to camps and outdoor activities.
MATHS: Discover geometry & arithmetic in nature
Nature can help students understand mathematical ideas on a practical level. Consider the following exercises:
- Find patterns and geometric shapes in nature, e.g. shells, pine cones etc.
- Find examples of angles around camp.
- Draw a detailed map of the camp.
- Collect data e.g. number of animals spotted, weather conditions etc.
- Make estimations e.g. the height of the tree, how many grains of sand on the beach.
- Calculate the number of steps taken in one day.
SOCIAL SCIENCES: Global citizenship
Camp can be a great chance for students to look beyond their own backyard and develop an awareness of the world and hone their problem solving skills. Some ideas include:
- Explore ecosystems at risk in nearby Dorrigo National Park with a ranger.
- Share a campfire with Gumbaynggir elders and follow up with a discussion on Aboriginal reconciliation
- Discuss collaboration at camp (ie/ sharing cabins, chores etc), exploring both the advantages and the difficulties
- Pose some big questions and allow for blue sky thinking. See our blog on fostering leadership for more ideas.
HEALTH: A fresh approach
Camp is the perfect place for students to develop a lifelong love of the outdoors, that will enhance health and physical fitness throughout their lives. Consider:
- Go on a nature walk around camp and encourage the students to use all their senses to heighten awareness.
- Tap into the National Parks ranger program to learn about the bird and marine life.
- Go Stand Up Paddle boarding with a Gumbaynggir guide who will explain the Aboriginal connection to country.
- Connect to the environment through outdoor mindfulness activities.
- Physical challenges no matter how big or small, encourage every student to step out of their comfort zone.
With a well-designed camp program it’s possible to connect learning areas, to help students see the interrelatedness between subjects and the world.
Plan activities like:
- Embrace the local Aboriginal culture through the range of activities offered. Explore their history, culture and arts, while opening up on global issues such as respect for cultural diversity and connection with the environment
- Use the exposure to the outdoors to reflect on the importance of our environment to all aspects of human experience, from poetry to physics to geography.
We get excited about all the possibilities to make your curriculum come alive. If you would like help designing a camp itinerary tailored specifically to your curriculum needs please call Molly, our Camp Concierge. She’s full of ideas and inspiration!